Who’s on the List? The U.S. EPA Pegs a Handful of Cellulosic Producers to Contribute to Next Year’s RFS Goal
by Kris Bevill (Ethanol Producer Magazine) In June, the U.S EPA issued its proposal to reduce the coming year’s cellulosic biofuels volume target for the renewable fuel standard (RFS). The RFS goals set by Congress in 2007 call for increasing amounts of cellulosic biofuels, beginning with 100 million gallons in 2010 and ramping up to 16 billion gallons in 2022. The EPA is authorized to reduce those targets if the industry does not have the capacity to reach them, which is what it has been doing every year since 2009.
…While some critics cite the repeated reduction in cellulosic biofuels volumes as proof of the industry’s failure, cellulosic producers say it is merely an indicator of the enormously difficult financial climate and stress that the technology is ready for take-off as soon as facilities can be built.
…Fiberight has been working for some time to transform a former corn-ethanol plant to produce 5.5 MMgy of cellulosic ethanol from municipal solid waste (MSW). The facility was one of a few plants expected to produce measurable volumes of cellulosic ethanol this year, but has yet to achieve that goal. Stuart-Paul says that while the plant produced several tanker loads in 2010, the delay in market value for cellulosic renewable identification numbers (RINs) prompted the company to focus its 2011 efforts on fundraising.
…DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC also made the EPA’s short list of expected producers for both 2011 and 2012. The company has been producing small amounts of ethanol at its demonstration-scale facility in Vonore, Tenn., and plans to continue.
…Ineos Bio is a new addition to the EPA’s anticipated producer list for 2012. The company’s joint venture, Ineos New Planet BioEnergy LLC, is currently constructing an 8 MMgy vegetative waste and MSW-to-ethanol facility in Vero Beach, Fla., and is expected by the EPA to contribute up to 3 million ethanol-equivalent gallons of fuel next year.
…Fulcrum Bioenergy Inc. is also new this year to the EPA list. The company has struggled to obtain federal loan guarantee assurance for its project and has not yet begun building its 10.5 MMgy post-sorted MSW-to-ethanol plant in McCarran, Nev., but the EPA believes it could contribute 500,000 ethanol-equivalent gallons of cellulosic ethanol next year. READ MORE